XRP to Remain a Cautionary Crypto Investment in 2020; Here’s Why

Ripple blockchain’s native token XRP registered one of its worst performances in 2019. And it is likely to extend its losses in 2020. The XRP-to-dollar exchange rate is down by circa 49 percent on a year-to-scale. At the same time, the token’s price against the benchmark cryptocurrency bitcoin has plunged by more than 72 percent within the same timeframe. The performance alone shows that investors are leaving the XRP market en masse. Ripple’s native asset spent 10 out of 12 months in red territory | Source: TradingView.com Latest Ripple-Related “FUD” XRP’s downside moves came amidst a series of scandalous so-called “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” (FUD) that has plagued its issuer Ripple Labs. The San Fransisco-based cross border payment company uses XRP as a settlement token. It originally issued 100 billion XRP units and sold a portion of them to obtain funds for the development of its blockchain platform. However, Ripple Labs retained control over 61 percent of XRP tokens, which brought them on the driving seat of pricing the token. An exchange called Coinmotion called out Ripple Labs for holding a monopoly over the XRP supply in a report published in February 2019. The exchange said: “XRP isn’t mined like typical cryptocurrencies. All 100 billion ripple coins have already been created. Ripple plans to release about half of them on to the markets while keeping the other half. Currently there are about 39% of ripple in the open markets, while 61% are kept by Ripple Labs.” The latter half of 2019 saw what Coinmotion had envisioned. Ripple Labs released a financial report wherein it declared that it had sold about $1.2 billion worth of XRP tokens to fund its operations. The move created hysteria among the existing XRP holders. Many of them even launched a petition on Change.org, requesting the Ripple team to stop dumping the token. Dwindling Investor Confidence in XRP Senior executives of Ripple Labs have continuously posted clarifications. Lately, the company’s CTO David Schwartz confirmed that by selling XRP, they were not pocketing the forward. He added that Ripple had the backing of venture capitalists to support the development of their project. “We started selling XRP only after there was a market price and for negligible amounts compared to our other funding,” wrote Mr. Schwartz. You will not find any individual who bought XRP because they wanted Ripple to have money to do stuff to enrich them. We were financed by VC. There was no ICO. — David Schwartz (@JoelKatz) December 27, 2019 The clarification did not land well with the community. Many respondents expressed their bewilderment, stating that Ripple had always claimed that they sold the tokens to “enhance the ecosystem.” There’s several arguments you could of made defending Ripple unloading XRP (ie needed money to invest back into community for long term benefit) but yours is just a fucking lie. This is a big red flag among many others. — NB | KillSwitch (@KillswitchNb) December 30, 2019 With the year for Ripple ending on a more confusing note, it is likely to hurt investors’ confidence in the token in 2020. [Disclaimer: The author holds XRP in his portfolio.] Featured Image from Shutterstock The post appeared first on NewsBTC.

Live Streaming Platform Dlive Joins Bittorrent Ecosystem

Live Streaming Platform Dlive Joins Bittorrent Ecosystem

Live streaming platform Dlive will soon be joining the Bittorrent ecosystem and begin migrating to the Tron blockchain. The Twitch alternative will no longer support the Lino blockchain after the transition to Tron is complete.

Also Read: Youtube Star Pewdiepie Joins Live Streaming Platform That Accepts Cryptocurrency

Dlive Enters Justin Sun’s Orbit

Bittorrent has announced that Dlive, a blockchain-based content sharing platform, will be joining its ecosystem and begin a migration to the Tron blockchain. Last year Justin Sun, the founder of “decentralized web” crypto Tron, has taken over Bittorrent Inc, the San Francisco-headquartered company founded in 2004 to manage the ongoing development of the Bittorrent peer-to-peer file sharing protocol.

As part of the deal, Dlive will advertise its products and services on Bittorrent as well as using its newest service for storage. The two sides explained that Dlive and its blockchain development team will collaborate with the Bittorrent team to bolster its products and services. Blive, the live streaming platform introduced by Bittorrent in early 2019, will be merged into the Dlive platform, and their team will join the Dlive team. Dlive will begin utilizing the Bittorrent File-Sharing System (BTFS), a distributed file sharing and storage system, and will also merge its account systems with Bittorrent’s to further integrate each community with the other.

Live Streaming Platform Dlive Joins Bittorrent Ecosystem

“We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to be part of the Bittorrent ecosystem,” said Charles Wayn, CEO of Dlive. “I’ve watched them pioneer the digital peer-to-peer space. Dlive’s goal of empowering creators and rewarding communities is one step closer with the amplification of this new venture.”

Dlive is mainly an alternative to video live streaming platform Twitch. It claims to have over five million monthly active users and is available online at Dlive.tv as well as via its Android and iOS apps. Content creators and viewers can earn rewards for their participation in the form of Lino points, the native tokens of the network. For users outside the U.S. it is also possible to buy Lino points with cryptocurrency including bitcoin cash (BCH) as well as BTC, ETH and LTC. The platform got a big boost to its brand earlier this year when Pewdiepie, the leading Youtube star with over 100 million subscribers, started streaming with Dlive.

Lino Abandoned After Blockchain Migrating to Tron

Dlive also explained that by joining the Bittorrent ecosystem, it will no longer support the Lino blockchain after the transition to the Tron blockchain is complete. The Lino blockchain technical infrastructure will be integrated into Bittorrent, however the Lino coin will no longer be the fundamental unit of value or utilization in the new ecosystem. To facilitate the integration of BTT into the existing Dlive ecosystem, Dlive is expected to offer various benefits and rewards to existing users to transition from the Lino blockchain into the Bittorrent ecosystem. Once the migration to the Tron blockchain is successfully completed, Dlive will no longer utilize the Lino blockchain.

Regarding the Lino blockchain mainnet, the foundation of the Lino Network has announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership with the Bittorrent foundation. In conjunction with the partnership, the foundation will no longer support the Lino blockchain mainnet and the Lino coins. The foundation is currently working with the Bittorrent foundation on a plan to introduce the Bittorrent protocol and the BTT tokens to the Lino community. Further details are expected to be provided on January 15, 2020 for Lino coin holders and Lino blockchain validators.

Live Streaming Platform Dlive Joins Bittorrent Ecosystem

“Dlive is one of the best real-world examples of what is possible when you combine blockchain and digital media,” said Justin Sun, CEO of Bittorrent. “Dlive is a great solution for live media producers. Think of how valuable live streaming content is already to centralized social media platforms who take ownership and advantage of their users’ hard work. We look forward to Dlive bringing value to the entire world with the addition of Tron and Bittorrent’s global community of passionate creators.”

The Dlive migration comes at a very good time to help Tron get new people onboard. Only recently the Google-owned video sharing website Youtube removed content and banned channels that promote or otherwise analyze the digital asset markets. The company has since claimed this was done by mistake and reinstated some channels but it already drove many in the crypto community to look for ways to back up their content or even migrate to alternative platforms.

What do you think about Dlive joining the Bittorrent ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Bitcoin’s $132bn market cap puts it above Turkey in terms of M1 money supply

Bitcoin’s $132 billion market cap might be a far cry from its 2017 all-time high, but it doesn’t mean it’s not playing in the big leagues. According to data from the CIA, Bitcoin’s current market cap makes it the 34th largest economy in terms of M1 money supply, just below the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and above Turkey.

Bitcoin’s current market cap shouldn’t be shrugged off

Few assets in the history of the world have been so widely discussed as Bitcoin has. With the world seemingly divided between those believing it was the future of money and those that see it as nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, it’s often hard to put Bitcoin’s true value in perspective. 

Most analysis critical of Bitcoin compares its current value to its peak in December 2017, when the world’s largest cryptocurrency briefly reached $20,000 in price and achieved a market cap of almost half a trillion dollars. 

When its current price, hovering around $7,100, is compared to the enormous gains the coin saw in the last few months of 2017, it seems like a faint shadow of its former glory.

However, there is a large community that sees Bitcoin through a different lens and instead of comparing it to its former self, compares it with the very things it set out to disrupt.

Bitcoin’s M1 monetary supply larger than Turkey’s

Bitcoin’s $132 billion market cap isn’t something that should be shrugged off. According to Jameson Lopp, the CTO of Casa, it means that Bitcoin’s isn’t a small niche market anymore and it’s finally playing in the major league.

Lopp shared a screengrab from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) website, where 194 countries were ranked according to their M1 money supply. The CIA defines the M1 money supply as the “total quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand deposits denominated in the national currency.” 

According to the list, the “country” with the biggest stock of M1 money is the European Union with $8.77 trillion. It’s followed by China with $7.94 trillion and Japan with $6.42 trillion. The U.S. ranked fourth with $3.62 trillion. 

The most surprising thing about the list, however, is Bitcoin’s place in it. Lopp shared an edited screengrab where he showed Bitcoin’s $132 billion market cap means it occupies the 34th position on the list, below the United Arab Emirates with an M1 supply of $132 billion and above Turkey with $122 billion.

Bitcoin ranks between UAE and Turkey
Bitcoin ranks between UAE and Turkey

“During 2019 Bitcoin rose from 49th to 34th position in terms of M1 money supply,” Lopp tweeted

Another thing worth noting is the fact that Bitcoin rose 15 positions when compared to last year, which goes to show that, in the grand scheme of things, its current bear market actually bears very little weight. 

The post Bitcoin’s $132bn market cap puts it above Turkey in terms of M1 money supply appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Chrome Browser Extension Ethereum Wallet Injects Malicious JavaScript To Steal Data

‘Shitcoin Wallet,’ an Ethereum wallet available as a Chrome Browser extension, is injecting malicious javascript to steal user’s data.

An Ethereum (ETH) wallet known as “Shitcoin Wallet” is reportedly injecting malicious javascript code from open browser windows to steal data from its users. On Dec. 30, cybersecurity and anti-phishing expert Harry Denley warned about the potential breach in a tweet:

– Source Twitter

According to Denley’s tweet, Chrome browser crypto wallet software Shitcoin Wallet is targeting Binance, MyEtherWallet and other well-known websites containing users’ passwords and private keys to cryptocurrency.

The Shitcoin Wallet Chrome extension – ExtensionID: ckkgmccefffnbbalkmbbgebbojjogffn – works by downloading a number of javascript files from a remote server. The code then searches for open browser windows containing webpages of exchanges and Ethereum network tools.

The code attempts to scrape data input into those windows. Once it does, the information is sent to a remote server identified as “erc20wallet.tk,” which is a top-level domain address belonging to Tokelau, a group of South Pacific Islands that are part of New Zealand’s territory.

Google Chrome removed MetaMask, but for different reasons

Shitcoin Wallet stealing user data may sound similar to recent incidents including Apple threatening to unlist Coinbase’s mobile DApp browser from its app store and Google removing Ethereum wallet app MetaMask from its Google Play App Store last week. Both of those instances, however, have been subject to considerable controversy due to lack of evidence of malicious conduct on the part of those apps.

A number of cryptojacking extensions were found on the Google Chrome web store last year. According to a recent report from McAfee Labs, cryptojacking, which occurs when a user’s computing device is secretly used to mine cryptocurrency, has been on the rise, up 29% in Q1 2019.

Shitcoin Wallet was built for trouble online

While the name should be a dead giveaway that it’s better to stay away from this particular Ethereum wallet software, Shitcoin Wallet contains some suspicious added features. 

According to a company blog post, the Ethereum wallet, which launched on Dec. 9 and claims to have over 2,000 users, is a web-based wallet that has several extensions for different browsers. The blog post notes;

“It is a web wallet which has several extensions for different browsers, which I will discuss further in the article.”

However, this doesn’t square with what the company mentions at the end of that very blog post, which says/reads that Shitcoin Wallet is currently only supported by Chrome.

A few days prior to the malicious javascript attack, Shitcoin Wallet announced the launch of its new desktop app, giving away 0.05 ETH to users who download and install the Shitcoin Wallet desktop app.

While those users may have received a bit of free ETH, they are now left vulnerable to having their data scraped and personal information compromised.

Bitcoin’s Drop to $7,000 Will Be Short Lasting Due to This Key Indicator

The aftermath of Bitcoin’s recent rally up to highs of $7,500 – and subsequent rejection – has been grave for bulls, as BTC has been caught within a strong downtrend that is leading the cryptocurrency down to its key support region that exists around $7,000. It is important to note that one key factor is currently showing signs that this current sell-off may be weaker than it appears, which may mean that it will be short lived and followed by a bounce that leads the crypto back up to its resistance within the mid-to-upper $7,000 region. Bitcoin’s Bears Roar as They Spark an Intraday Sell Off At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just under 1% at its current price of $7,270, which marks a notable decline from its daily highs of $7,400 that were set during an early morning rally attempt that resulted in it dropping to its current levels. This latest rejection comes closely on the heels of the one seen last week, when BTC surged to highs of over $7,500 before facing insurmountable resistance that sparked the ongoing downtrend. It is important to note that Bitcoin’s bulls have made many attempts to rally over the past several weeks, with each attempt resulting in strong and swift rejections that lead the cryptocurrency back to its support within the lower-$7,000 region. HornHairs, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, explained in a tweet from earlier this morning that the buying pressure the crypto has found despite its recent break below its swing high signals that it may soon see further upwards momentum. “$BTC short: Flipped short upon a break back below the swing high, already bouncing hard and back above Monday’s low, might flip long again,” he explained while pointing to the chart seen below. $BTC short Flipped short upon a break back below the swing high, already bouncing hard and back above Monday's low, might flip long again pic.twitter.com/TfdhFXaPwN — HornHairs 🌊 (@CryptoHornHairs) December 31, 2019 This Key Factor Signals That the Current Sell-Off May Be Short Lived Cantering Clark, another popular crypto analyst on Twitter, explained that active and passive sellers are not currently working cohesively, which means that shorts will be caught off guard if BTC’s bulls ardently defend this level. “Cumulative Volume Delta showing heavier selling into this low, yet less follow through than previously around 7200. Wouldn’t be surprised to see shorts caught offside right here temporarily. Active and Passive not working together right now,” he explained while pointing to the chart seen below. Cumulative Volume Delta showing heavier selling into this low, yet less follow through than previously around 7200. Wouldn't be surprised to see shorts caught offside right here temporarily. Active and Passive not working together right now.$BTC pic.twitter.com/WEuzAepdXA — Cantering Clark (@CanteringClark) December 31, 2019 As BTC inches lower to its key support level at $7,000, how buyers respond to this level will be imperative for determining which direction the crypto will trend in the first days and weeks of the new year. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post appeared first on NewsBTC.

‘Fatal flaw’ set to destroy Bitcoin on Jan. 1, according to Craig Wright

Bitcoin could be living out its final hours today if you were to believe Craig Wright. The self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto said last year that there was a “fatal flaw” in Bitcoin which is set to completely destroy it, adding that “there won’t be any BTC by the end of next year.”

Self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto predicted Bitcoin will die by the end of the year

Craig Wright, the chief scientist at nChain and chief defender at BSV, has been at the forefront of crypto news from 2018. However, few of his front-page appearances were as ridiculous and unbelievable as his prediction for the future of Bitcoin.

Back in 2018, Wright was a guest of The Crypto Show, where he spoke about his alleged creation, Bitcoin. He criticised Bitcoin, which he called ‘Bitcoin Core,” saying that none of the developers that were working on the network really understood it.

“They will learn next year that there is a fatal flaw in BTC and by fatal I mean there won’t be any BTC by the end of next year,” Wright said in the interview.

It’s also worth noting that Wright have the interview on Nov. 12, 2018, just three days before Bitcoin SV, which Wright claim is the forked that follows his original vision, forked from Bitcoin Cash.

Craig Wright’s fearmongering prediction yet to come true

But, with hours left before the end of the year, Wright’s prediction is yet to come true.

Despite its recent price slump and an overall turbulent 12 months, 2019 has been one of the best years for Bitcoin. Almost every single metric was up this year, showing that the network was thriving without much concern for the asset’s value in fiat.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency saw its yearly transaction volume reach its all-time high. The total number of transactions and the network’s hashrate both reached their peaks this year, proving that Bitcoin won’t be magically disappearing any time soon.

This isn’t the only outrageous prediction Wright made for the end of the year. Earlier this year, Wright said that Bitcoin SV is set to see its price rise to over $1,200 by the end of the year. However, what’s more outrageous than his claim that BSV will rise more than 1,100 percent by the end of the day is his prediction for Bitcoin.

“A true value of BTC at market will be between 0.10 and 0.20 USD,” he said in a market discussion on Slack.

(Source: Twitter)

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Dr Doom Laments Bitcoin ‘Bubble’ on Taylor Swift Mashup

You probably already know that Nouriel “Dr Doom” Roubini is no fan of Bitcoin. The professor and economist has frequently sounded off against the crypto asset space in recent years. What you might not know is that Roubini also has something of a musical side. His most recent offering sees him take on and rework Taylor Swift’s hit “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Well, kind of… Dr Doom’s Most Memorable Anti-Bitcoin Rants Immortalised on Hilarious New Tune New York University economics professor and all round Bitcoin hater Nouriel Roubini has become the star of an auto-tune cover of Taylor Swift’s 2012 hit single “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Titled simply “Bubble”, the track is the work of the blockchain startup Harmony. Watch famed Bitcoin sceptic @Nouriel take on Taylor Swift as he predicts more 'trouble' for the blockchain industry! But is there a surprise ending?#Crypto #YearInReview ➡ https://t.co/l444djWvIJ pic.twitter.com/XDHwnEQvHU — Harmony (@harmonyprotocol) December 31, 2019 NewsBTC has reported on Roubini’s Bitcoin hating numerous times over the last twelve months. The economist has used just about every common critique to bash the digital currency. These include its apparent lack of scalability and decentralisation, as well as its supposed use for criminal activity. Harmony’s tune, posted to YouTube earlier today, looks back at some of Roubini’s most infamous rants against Bitcoin. Those behind it have autotuned Dr Doom’s outbursts and set them, rather hilariously, to the Taylor Swift chart topper. Standout lyrics include a particularly foul mouthed appraisal of the digital currency industry, as well as the track’s pull-no-punches refrain: “Cos I like shouting ‘bubble’ when I’m on TV. So shame on me now. Tell me the facts, I will disagree. Cos I’m old and out of touch.” Somewhat bizarrely, the lyrics also have Roubini declaring himself to be the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, after apparently working on the protocol more than a decade ago, he has since started cooperating with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to bring down the digital currency. Whilst this seems about as plausible as some other claims on the title of Bitcoin inventor, it would make for serious plot twist in the story of the most popular digital currency if it turned out to be true! The video concludes with Roubini coming to terms with the fact that he is probably missing out on the greatest transfer of wealth in human history since he isn’t invested in any digital asset. Presumably, he no longer has access to the coins he claims to have mined shortly after Bitcoin’s creation: “But the reality of it, I’m not gonna make a penny. Because I don’t hold any coins. Not Bitcoin, Ethereum, or XRP”   Related Reading: Bitcoin Bulls Not Out of Woods, Wait For Break Above $7.5K Featured Image from Shutterstock. The post appeared first on NewsBTC.

A Tor-Integrated Cashfusion Build for Bitcoin Cash Is Coming

A Tor-Integrated Cashfusion Build for Bitcoin Cash Is Coming

On Monday, Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball updated the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community in regards to the Cashfusion protocol. Fyookball revealed that Tor integration is currently in the works. The Tor-integrated Cashfusion build is “the big piece” the development team needs to get from alpha to beta stage, Fyookball detailed.

Also read: Privacy-Enhancing BCH Tool Cashfusion Begins Working Behind the Scenes

Tor + Cashfusion

Bitcoin Cash proponents are excited to hear that developers are relentlessly working on the Cashfusion protocol. A number of BCH users already utilize the Cashshuffle protocol, which mixes Bitcoin Cash-based UTXOs in a pool with other shuffling participants. Millions of dollars worth of BCH ($41.2M) have been shuffled since the platform’s official release in March. Cashshuffle adds a greater layer of privacy but the concept can be improved. For example, if a shuffling participant mixes their BCH and eventually consolidates the UTXOs, it’s possible the transaction can leave behind some clues for blockchain analysis. “We need a method to coordinate Coinjoin transactions with multiple inputs per user,” explains the Cashfusion specifications.

A Tor-Integrated Cashfusion Build for Bitcoin Cash Is Coming

In November, Electron Cash (EC) developer Jonald Fyookball told the BCH community that the privacy-enhancing BCH tool was working behind the scenes. That week Fyookball and independent software developer Mark Lundeberg shared a couple of mainnet Cashfusion transactions as examples. A month later on December 30, Fyookball revealed the “alpha software Cashfusion already works, and we do fusion transactions on mainnet on a daily basis.” “Axel Gembe is working on Tor integration [and] this is the big piece we need to get from alpha stage to beta stage,” Fyookball added. The EC programmer also shared an update from Gembe which said:

I had to abandon the idea of using tor as a dynamic library due to recent glibc changes. They basically disallowed loading pie executables with dlopen, even though it works well for some situations. Now I have the build system work done (except macOS, I’ll need likely need help with that). And the plan is to use stem to control tor using the control port — It should be finished in a few weeks.

A Tor-Integrated Cashfusion Build for Bitcoin Cash Is Coming

Enhanced Bitcoin Privacy

The BCH community on social media and forums enjoyed Fyookball’s update. “Bundling Tor with EC sounds great,” one person wrote on Reddit. “Once this is fully functional this will be a game changer for BCH — I wouldn’t be surprised to see more darknet markets accepting BCH alongside BTC and monero,” another individual commented. BCH fans were pleased to hear the creator of Wasabi compliment Cashfusion after he listened to Mark Lundeberg’s recent interview with Naomi Brockwell. Then on December 27, Wasabi wallet developer @nopara73 commended Cashfusion again on Twitter. “I am not convinced if this is true, but if it is, it’s a game changer in Bitcoin privacy,” the engineer tweeted.

Overall the news of Cashfusion’s progress has BCH fans excited and a number of Cashshuffle users look forward to the advanced update. Fyookball thanked Axel for this “amazing and critical work” and told the community the developer can be tipped. “If you want to send him a tip, you can do so at ichundes#102 cashaccount,” the EC programmer concluded.

What do you think about the Cashfusion progression helping bolster BCH privacy? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Github, Acid Sploit’s Cashshuffle Stats Twitter, and Pixabay.

You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

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Top Ripple Insights Posts of 2019

The last time the world was on the cusp of a new decade, the Bitcoin Whitepaper was only a few years old, Ripple was yet to be founded and slow cross-border payments were widely accepted as the status quo. As we stand on the doorstep of a new year and a new decade, we reflect on the steps along our company’s journey enabling payments for everyone, everywhere.

Below we list the five most popular Ripple Insights posts of the past year. This analysis tells quite the story of our strongest year of growth to date—and we have a feeling that 2020 will be even better. 

5. Ripple Caps Record Year with $200M Series C Funding
The blockchain and digital asset industry continues to mature, shedding businesses that lack product-market fit and rewarding those with real traction. We’re thrilled to cap off our strongest year of growth with this validation from investors in our business and its mission.

The $200 million Series C was led by Tetragon with participation from SBI Holdings and Route 66 Ventures. These notable investors not only underscore our long-term potential, but as partners, they offer invaluable industry insight and expertise to help our business continue to grow on a global scale. 

4. RippleNet Growth: Announcing More Than 300 Customers
At our third annual customer conference, Swell, CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced that we surpassed 300 customers. Seeing our customer connections come to life through hundreds of meetings was a clear embodiment of our growing network.

We have also seen 10x year-over-year growth in transactions on RippleNet—our global network of banks, financial institutions and payment providers that enables these companies to send money globally, instantly and reliably for fractions of a penny.  

3. Our Open Letter to Congress  
2019 saw a year of growth for the industry at large. Projects like the Libra Whitepaper and JPM Coin brought blockchain and crypto to the forefront of policy makers’ and regulators’ minds. 

In an open letter to Congress our CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman and Co-founder Chris Larsen urged legislators to support fintech policy that fosters responsible innovation and classifies digital assets in a way that recognizes their fundamental differences—not painting them with a broad brush.

2. Announcing the Next Chapter of Xpring, Ripple’s Developer Platform
In 2018, we established Xpring—the initiative to help scale innovative blockchain projects through partnership and investment. This year, we announced the next evolution of Xpring—now the open developer platform for money. 

This new platform offers a set of tools, services and programs that makes it easy for developers to send and receive payments in any currency, across any network using the XRP Ledger and Interledger Protocol. In short, Xpring removes the pain and friction from integrating money into apps.

1. Ripple Announces Strategic Partnership With Money Transfer Giant, MoneyGram
Our most popular Insights blog to date was the announcement of our strategic partnership with MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI). Through this partnership, Ripple became MoneyGram’s key partner for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement leveraging the digital asset XRP through ODL.

Less than six months later, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO Alex Holmes announced on stage at Swell 2019 that the company currently moves 10% of its transaction volume between the United States and Mexican borders with ODL.

“One of the core strengths of MoneyGram is our global liquidity and settlement engine that enables our customers to send money in over 200 countries and territories. Our partnership with Ripple has helped us to improve this strength and we’ve already started seeing the product’s potential to streamline our back-end capabilities. For the first time ever, we’re settling currencies in seconds,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s CEO. 

The post Top Ripple Insights Posts of 2019 appeared first on Ripple.

This article was originally published on: The Ripple Blog on 

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Vexed Tech Entrepreneur Turns Bitcoin Hacker, Steals €1M+ from Ex-Colleagues

A French tech entrepreneur has been nabbed for allegedly stealing over 1 million euros in Bitcoin from his former colleagues in what is purported to have been an “act of revenge.”

A French tech entrepreneur has been nabbed for allegedly stealing over 1 million euros in Bitcoin (BTC) from his former colleagues in what is purported to have been an “act of revenge.”

On Dec. 22, the unnamed man was indicted by a judge in Paris on charges of theft, money laundering and fraudulently accessing data processing systems, local newspaper Le Parisien reported on Dec. 28.

“Washing away the humiliation”

The suspect’s motivation for the theft — his spoils totaling 182 Bitcoin (BTC), worth ~$1.3 million by press time — is purported to have been a thirst to “wash away the humiliation” of his redundancy. 

The man is reportedly a former employee of a French tech start-up, one whose founding in 2013 Le Parisien attributes to a desire to join the “closed club of overvalued unicorns” in the 2.0 tech universe. 

Once differences over strategy in the firm exploded, the suspect found himself one of several executives to be summarily ousted from the venture. 

In the fallout, he is said to have left the country in pursuit of new projects — yet his emigration also involved a metamorphosis from one time digital entrepreneur to cryptocurrency hacker.

Between Dec. 2018 and Jan. 2019, the remaining executives — whose work ostensibly involves daily use of multiple cryptocurrencies — reportedly began to notice their Bitcoin holdings dwindling.

The suspect is alleged to have designed his theft so as to ensure that each fraudulent Bitcoin transaction was for an amount below the threshold that would trigger an internal security warning. This insider knowledge is reported to have been a red flag for investigators, alerting them to the likelihood that a current or former employee was behind the crime.

Arrested en route from Calvados

Once a complaint was lodged, investigators at the Gendarmerie’s cybercrime division (C3N) spent several months reconstructing the thefts. 

The cyber sleuths’ work culminated in a search warrant being issued for the suspect and his eventual arrest on Dec. 20, when he returned from Calvados to France. Pending trial, his computer and private keys have reportedly been seized, with a part of the ill-gotten funds since being transferred to AGRASC — France’s agency for assets confiscated in the course of criminal proceedings.

The prosecutor’s office in Paris is reportedly pushing for the suspect’s detention ahead of his trial; for the time being, he has been subjected to travel restrictions.

Blockchain-savvy investigators

Earlier this fall, Cointelegraph reported that the C3N had used smart contracts issued on the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain to buy cryptocurrency from Europol-allocated funds and cover its operational costs with those assets. The system employed by the C3N was alleged to be “the first smart contract ever developed by a public authority.”

The Biggest FUD and FOMO Moments in Crypto 2019

The crypto industry, Bitcoin, blockchain, and any of its varieties is driven primarily by hype and speculation as the emerging technologies underlying each asset are often too new or unproven to yet provide a realistic valuation. Due to this, the constant ebb and flow of FUD and FOMO often dictate market movements and turn major losers into top market gainers almost overnight. Here’s a look at the past year’s biggest FUD and FOMO-driving moments. Crypto and Bitcoin’s Biggest FUD and FOMO Moments of 2019 FUD is an acronym for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. FOMO is an acronym for the fear of missing out. The two factors regularly provide the push or pull pressure on the market that causes crypto asset prices to fluctuate. Some events, cause a widespread occurrence of panic-buying, where investors stack up on an asset without any regard for risk or potential loss, much like was seen at the height of the crypto hype bubble.  Others, cause panic-selling, where investors dump their crypto fearing a devastating crash where as much as 99% of an asset’s value is wiped out. Both are common occurrences that take place often throughout crypto, and here are some of the year’s most impactful of those moments. China Endorses Blockchain Just as Bitcoin had fallen to new local lows, confirming that Bitcoin’s uptrend was kaput, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke out in support of blockchain technology, telling his citizens his country needed to remain on the forefront of developing the future of the budding technology. Crypto whales saw this as an opportunity to cause a splash in Bitcoin and cause a short squeeze of epic proportions. However, the resulting FOMO from China’s support of “crypto” caused Bitcoin to set a record for its third-largest single-day gain in the asset’s young history. No other moment in 2019 caused more extreme and abrupt FOMO. Facebook Libra Launch Facebook Libra is a story of FOMO turned FUD. The year kicked off to rumors swirling that Facebook was hard at work developing a cryptocurrency of its own, under Mark Zuckerberg’s order. However, once the social media giant made the big reveal, the entire political world turned on the corporation and feared the complete monopoly over privacy it could one day have if it gains access to user’s transaction data, in addition to all of the behavioral patterns the company already secretly captures. Trump Tweets About Bitcoin Following the controversy that Facebook Libra kicked up, United States President Donald Trump tweeted about Bitcoin, Facebook Libra, and crypto as a whole, suggesting that they were used for illicit crimes. And while there’s no denying the leader of the free world talking about crypto is important, it’s not wise to ignore that it was said in a negative tone. In fact, Trump’s tweet almost perfectly coincided with Bitcoin’s recent rally top. I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019 Binance Blocks US Users From Flagship When Binance announced it would be blocking US-based investors from trading using its flagship platform, fear, uncertainty, and doubt took over the altcoin market, causing a massive selloff and widespread capitulation. With crypto regulation suddenly a hot topic, and with industry leaders shutting out their biggest customer base without much explanation, things indeed got scary. Everything turned out okay, with the company launching its own US platform that is growing each day, but for a while there, the crypto market was certainly spooked and asset prices reflected this. Bakkt Launch Hype and Failure No story was more hyped in 2019 but resulted in more of a dud, then Bakkt. The Bitcoin futures trading platform from the parent company of NASDAQ was a hot button issue dating back to 2018 when it was first announced, and most of the crypto market expected the sudden influx of institutional investors it would create would be enough to cause Bitcoin to immediately embark on a new bull run. However, Bakkt launched to abysmal trading volume, and the day it launched Bitcoin fell by nearly $2,000 in a single day, showing that even the biggest FOMO moments can quickly turn into FUD. Is your favorite moment missing from the list? Comment below! The post appeared first on NewsBTC.

Why is Bitcoin Price Growing Slower and Slower?

bitcoin price slow growth

The potential short-term and long-term growth prospects of bitcoin can be gauged from the ongoing price activity. BTC price is facing increasing resistance on its way up. Volatility is decreasing with time. What does this mean for bitcoin’s overall outlook? 

In his latest article, entrepreneur, engineer, and bitcoin optimist Harold Christopher Burger deeply analyzed the supposed reason behind BTC’s stunted market growth. As per his inference, two things become clear regarding bitcoin’s recent price evolution:

The case for bitcoin’s diminishing yearly returns is growing stronger
Bitcoin price fluctuations are becoming less extreme in the short term

A plausible explanation for the observations is investment capital. It takes more and more fiat currency to move BTC’s price higher. Apparently, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the requisite capital to do so.
In HC Burger’s words:
Moving the price of bitcoin from $0.1 to $1 was possible with relatively few dollars. Moving the price of bitcoin from $1000 to $10000 required much more capital. This effect slows the potential growth of bitcoin in both the long- and short-term.
Future bull markets are expected to be much slower and long term bitcoin returns will be less as per the published study.
Capital to Move Bitcoin Price Not Easily Available
Gone are the days, when it was relatively easier to bring significant changes in the bitcoin price action. BTC trading was not physically possible until July 17, 2010. Then when bitcoin’s price was around $0.1, increasing BTC’s valuation by 100 percent required less capital. The situation wasn’t the same when the benchmark crypto’s price rose from $10,000 to $20,000 in late 2017 – early 2018, and earlier this year.
Although the rallies were mostly fuelled by retail interest and the ICO boom, the inflow of capital was sumptuous, resulting in a terrific surge of the total cryptocurrency market cap to around $800 billion.

This would be highly improbable now, as ‘attracting more and more people to invest in bitcoin, or finding exceptionally wealthy investors will become more and more difficult. Although institutional investment in bitcoin and the crypto market is expected to rise manifold according to noted global fintech leaders.
Just not long-term price growth even short-term explosive rallies will become increasingly less as volatility will reduce and bull markets will take longer timeframes to develop.

There’s Still Light at the End of the Tunnel
Mr. Burger’s analysis is heavily drawn from the bitcoin price model that considers growth with diminishing returns. That also puts all outrageous BTC predictions to rest, as they (over the top predictions) consider that bitcoin’s price will never slow down and always keep growing.
However, all hope is not lost. Even though the non-diminishing price model does not guarantee humongous returns, bitcoin will still continue to grow from strength to strength and outperform most traditional assets.
Bitcoin’s astounding growth over the last decade was covered today by Bloomberg. This is reminiscent of the fact over a considerable period of time, in spite of numerous bull and bear market cycles, Bitcoin’s long-term promise remains strong.
How do you think will bitcoin’s price grow over the next decade? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Images via Shutterstock, Medium: Harold Christopher Burger The post appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Bitcoin Price Yearly Candle Shows Failed Rally, Longest Wick on Record

Today’s mid-week daily close in Bitcoin price charts carries significantly more weight than usual, as New Year’s Eve marks the last day of the calendar year, and the crypto asset’s yearly candle close. If the leading crypto asset by market cap closes today at current prices around $7,250, the yearly candle will close with the largest wick on record, clearly showing the failed parabolic rally that occurred around mid-year 2019. Bitcoin Price Chart: Yearly Candle Closes Tonight Bitcoin price charts can be viewed across multiple timeframes, with the most significant being given to the largest and longest timeframes. Crypto traders and analysts often pay particularly close attention to daily, weekly, or monthly price charts in order to get a better grasp on the market and the trend underway. Related Reading | Past Performance Shows Bitcoin Historic High Could Serve As True Bear Market Bottom And while yearly price charts aren’t as oft used as the other, longer timeframes, they can be helpful in looking at the bigger overall picture. One crypto analyst has shared a yearly Bitcoin price chart on Twitter and invited others from the community to do what they do best and speculate on what the yearly candle close means for the crypto asset, and what is expected for the following year’s close. The yearly candle is closing pretty soon and this is how we're currently sitting… Not the prettiest thing, that's for sure. If you had to guess, which color would the next yearly candle be? pic.twitter.com/G5pRoierq4 — TraderKoz (@TraderKoz) December 30, 2019 The candle itself while green does show a failed rally in the form of a massive wick that stopped at prior yearly resistance. The wick is also the largest ever recorded in Bitcoin price on yearly candles, as even 2017’s peak has a $6,000 range from wick peak to candle body close, whereas this year’s reaches from the current price of $7,250 all the way to $14,000 – representing a $6,750 long wick. What Does This Year’s Candle Close Tell Crypto Analysts? Analysts responding to the thread suggest that because this year’s candle is closing at under 50% of 2017’s candle, 2020’s yearly close is expected to be red. What makes me think red: -that colossal upper wick-yearly close lower than 50% of the 2017 candle's body-2019 candle closes in lower/middle third of the range What makes me think green: -near-equal lows for 2018 & 2019 So my guess is….. red 😬 — Jamie Holmes (@Holmes1991Jamie) December 30, 2019 For 2020 to close red, Bitcoin price would need to end next year lower than whatever the price closes at when the clock strikes 7PM ET tonight. Another year of sideways or downtrend would likely be too much for many crypto investors who have been holding through two full years of a bear market already. Poor bulls and bears. I hope they are prepared for this. We will lose so many traders in the next year. pic.twitter.com/weW5Vpy0tV — Sean Nance (@TheSeanNance) December 30, 2019 Others, however, say that the next year’s candle will close green, filling out the wick of 2019 with continued price action until Bitcoin eventually sets a new high. Related Reading | Here’s What $100 in Bitcoin Would Have Made Next To The Decade’s Best Investments  While many crypto investors are already thinking about 2020, Bitcoin price still needs to close the daily candle tonight to put 2019 in the history books for good, and set its sights on a new year or trading. Featured image from Shutterstock The post appeared first on NewsBTC.

Regulatory Roundup: China Blockchain ETF, France New Crypto Rules, Tokens Like Money in Russia

Regulatory Roundup: China Blockchain ETF, France New Crypto Rules, Tokens Like Money in Russia

In this roundup, we cover Russia’s supreme court recognizing tokens as assets like money and property, France’s new crypto regulatory framework, and several industry developments in China, including a blockchain ETF filing. We also cover Japan’s world conference for decentralized financial governance, Uzbekistan’s crypto ban, and four countries’ central bank digital currency updates.

Also read: Regulatory Roundup – New US Crypto Bill, France’s 1st Approved ICO, Muslim Crypto

China’s Blockchain ETF and Crypto Warnings

The China Securities Regulatory Commission revealed on Dec. 24 that it had received an application for a blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF) from Shenzhen-based asset manager Penghua Fund. According to Chinese media, if successfully launched, this fund will be China’s first blockchain ETF. It will track the performance of the blockchain index recently launched by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, one of the two key stock exchanges in mainland China. The index comprises stocks of the largest 50 companies listed on the exchange with blockchain ventures, ranked by market capitalization.

On the same day, Reuters reported that China will expand the scope of its blockchain cross-border financing pilot platform. The government will also “push forward a prospective study on foreign exchange reforms to deal with cryptocurrency and explore the construction of the foreign exchange regulation and technology system under the new situation,” explained Lu Lei, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

While blockchain friendly after President Xi Jinping openly advocated for the technology, the authorities in China continue to scrutinize crypto businesses. On Dec. 27, four regulators in Beijing jointly issued a warning regarding cryptocurrency trading and related activities in their jurisdictions. It reiterates the September 2017 announcement made by seven Chinese ministries, including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which led to the closing of crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) trading platforms in the country. Recently, the PBOC’s Shanghai Head Office also issued a similar notice reminding people that the seven ministries’ order is still effective.

The crypto mining industry is also under scrutiny by Chinese regulators. In Sichuan, the authorities went after crypto miners to save electricity in the dry season. In the city of Tangshan, Hebei province, the police recently seized 6,890 bitcoin mining rigs and arrested a group of scammers.

Russian Supreme Court Recognizes Tokens as Assets Like Money or Property

The Russian supreme court has clarified that “digital rights,” the term currently used to describe cryptocurrencies and tokens in Russian law, can be a subject of bribes similar to fiat money, property, and other assets. While Russia currently does not have a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, various institutions in the country, including the courts, have previously characterized them as “money surrogates” which are banned by Russian law.

Meanwhile, Russia’s central bank has reportedly begun testing stablecoins in its regulatory sandbox. Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina explained to local publication Interfax on Dec. 25 that the bank looks at companies wanting to issue tokens secured by some real assets, “but we do not assume that they will function as a means of payment and become money surrogate,” she emphasized.

Regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) which many countries are discussing, “we are also at the stage of studying this topic,” the governor revealed. However, she noted that “First of all, we need to understand what will be the advantages for our citizens, for businesses,” compared to other options.

France Publishes New Crypto Rules

France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), published its new rules for digital asset service providers (DASPs) on Dec. 20. They define the types of services that are considered DASPs under the new regulatory framework adopted in April and clarify which specific rules apply to crypto or ICO services. The regulator detailed that registration is mandatory for two types of crypto activities, elaborating:

If you provide services of digital asset custody and/or buying or selling digital assets for legal tender in France, you must register with the AMF.

Registrants must be established in France. They will be checked for compliance with the regulations on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The AMF also recently approved the first public ICO in France.

Japan Hosting World DeFi Conference

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), announced on Dec. 23 that it is organizing the Blockchain Global Governance Conference in collaboration with Nikkei Inc. The event is in response to the consensus reached by the international regulatory community “on the importance of engaging with various stakeholders in the decentralized financial ecosystem to ensure public policy objectives,” as stated in the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration under Japan’s presidency in June, the agency detailed.

The conference welcomes stakeholders from all around the world, including “those who are active in open-source software communities, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Hyperledger.” University researchers, relevant organizations, businesses in the space, civil society and financial regulators are also invited. According to the FSA, the event aims to “discuss the better governance for decentralized financial ecosystem.”

Uzbekistan’s Crypto Ban

Uzbekistan has banned crypto buying. The country’s National Agency for Project Management has recently adopted amendments to the regulatory regime that place significant restrictions on local private individuals using cryptocurrency. The agency issued an order on Dec. 6 stating that Uzbekistan citizens will only be allowed to sell crypto assets on registered exchanges. Using decentralized cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is now also prohibited in the country.

Furthermore, any transactions involving coins acquired through anonymous means are banned. However, the regulator has not clarified how it plans to determine whether someone’s digital money has been involved in such transfers. Further, crypto trading platforms should only serve verified users of 18 years or older whose names are not on the government’s list of those suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing.

CBDCs in Korea, Japan, and the Bahamas

Besides Russia, three more countries made some announcements regarding their CBDC progress last week. The Central Bank of the Bahamas started a pilot program of a digital version of the Bahamian dollar on Dec. 27 in Exuma, which will be extended to Abaco in the first half of 2020. The bank described:

As the pilot progresses in Exuma, the central bank will simultaneously promote the development of new regulations for the digital currency, and strengthen consumer protection, especially around data protection standards.

The central bank added that it “will also advance reforms to permit direct participation of non-banks in the domestic payments system. Early passage of the new Central Bank of the Bahamas Bill will support the creation of some regulations, while additional reforms will be possible under the existing Payment Systems Act.”

Another country that has been studying the benefits of issuing a CBDC is South Korea. While repeatedly declaring that it is not currently considering issuing one, the Bank of Korea (BOK) is reportedly organizing a task force dedicated to CBDC research, local media reported on Friday. In its “Monetary Policy for 2020” report, the BOK revealed that it will continue to build on research into innovations, including distributed ledger technology, crypto assets, and CBDC. “We will actively engage in discussions with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and other international organizations, keeping an eye on CBDC development at other central banks,” the BOK wrote. The central bank also said it will recruit additional CBDC experts and proceeded to post a job opening for digital currency experts on Dec. 10.

Similarly, Japan is another Asian country actively researching the impact of a CBDC on the current system without committing to issuing one. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) published a summary report on Dec. 24 outlining the legal implications of a CBDC in the country. The report highlights a wide range of issues which need be addressed, including whether a CBDC can be regarded as legal tender, ways to combat its counterfeit or duplication, whether its issuance is consistent with the Bank of Japan Act, and whether the central bank can restrict its use by certain individuals. Other issues concern AML/CFT regulations, protecting personal information, and the penalties for counterfeiting or duplicating CBDC under current criminal law. “By clarifying these potential legal issues spanning various legal fields, the report intends to stimulate further discussion regarding CBDC,” the BOJ concluded.

Catch up on other regulatory roundups you may have missed:

Dec. 23: New US Crypto Bill, France’s 1st Approved ICO, Muslim Crypto
Dec. 16: Crypto ‘Inevitable’ in India, China Rankings, NY Streamlines Policy
Dec. 9: Bitcoin Futures Fund Approved, India’s RBI-Backed Digital Currency
Dec. 2: Germany to Let Banks Sell and Store Crypto, Laws Changing in Asia
Nov. 25: China Rekindles Cleanup, US Widens Oversight, India Defers Decisions

What do you think of the regulatory developments covered in this roundup? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin 2020 — Blockchain’s New Year Resolutions

Imagine that Bitcoin made itself some promises for the upcoming year — what would they be like?

Most of us believe in the “New Year — New Me” rhetoric”: I'm going to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, stop being lazy, spend more time with family and whatnot. Yet, losing weight usually only turns into losing motivation instead.

But then, it doesn't really make sense to laugh at our absurdities, as we humans have plenty of them. Not when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, at least. I mean, we can mostly agree that it’s just a hefty to-do list for the first week of January.

Now, what if it were the same for the disruptive and revolutionizing technology of blockchain? Does it hold the same stereotypes as us humans when it comes to New Year’s resolutions?

Let’s find out.

The United States Federal Reserve promises a more stable economy for its New Year’s resolution (did I just hear bailout?) by printing $425 billion by the middle of January 2020. Alongside an ever-increasing national debt, currently almost $24 trillion, this is another example of the Fed’s inept ability to manage the economy. Enter blockchain — the backbone of Bitcoin and other digital assets — which resolved to tackle double-spending; remove intermediaries and control from centralized powers; enable automatic, immutable and transparent transactions on peer-to-peer networks; and disrupt (while helping) financial institutions — and the list goes on.

Yet, despite all of this, the journey of Bitcoin (and of course blockchain) has been quite exciting, from exploding onto the scene and mining billions of dollars worth of coins to an implosion that wiped out at least 80% of the market's value. Presently, not just Bitcoin but blockchain technology as a whole is expected to generate an increase in business value of more than $176 billion by the year 2025 and exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030. Blockchain’s unprecedented value will disrupt most of our industries in the coming years, if not all of them.

Does it sound like a fleeting dream like other New Year’s resolutions that are bound to fail? To get a better idea, let’s look at blockchain’s track record in this context.

Blockchain’s past resolutions checklist

Bitcoin's added value

Blockchain banking leaders like Celsius — which recently hit $4.25 billion in crypto loans — are giving fair market value pricing with low loan interest rates and substantially higher interest rates for crypto banking. Much higher than traditional banks’ 0.5%–1%.

People keep saying that “Bitcoin is dead,” but this sounds like disenchanted haters with one too many failed New Year’s resolutions under their belt to me. Despite the volatility of its price last year, it still trades better than leading companies like McDonald’s, with a market cap of $170 billion. Also, the estimated number of global Bitcoin users is around 25 million, of which 5% are Americans. And the best part? Every time Bitcoin’s value goes down, it shoots back up. Now, as 2019 comes to an end, a single BTC is over $7,000.

Eliminating third-party intermediaries

If two is company and three is crowd, traditional payment systems are as chaotic as coastal Thailand fish markets. Considering the number of middlemen, it’s a typical case of “too many cooks spoil the broth.” A genuine decentralized peer-to-peer payment system is the fundamental resolution that blockchain (starting with Bitcoin) fulfilled, with no person or institution being “in charge” of Bitcoin transactions.

Decentralized industries

Not being a quitter and keeping its New Year’s resolution promise, blockchain is disrupting supply chain management through permanent, seamless documentation in a thoroughly decentralized and transparent manner. From creating P2P and more secure data storage networks to verifying data in insurance contracts, the applications of the technology in various industries are limitless. 

Institutional adoption

Back in 2018, Bitcoin was often bullied for not being “approved.” By the end of the year, fed up, Bitcoin (and blockchain as a whole) resolved to make institutional friends. And now, at the end of 2019, we must say that it’s been quite successful. Players like Yale University’s $30 million endowment fund, Square’s Cash App and Fidelity Investments — which provides financial services for $7.2 trillion in assets — have all joined the Bitcoin club. And, the Holy Grail of institutional adoption finally bestowed itself upon us when Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt launched with full governmental approval.

While China has already banned crypto exchanges (but is now launching its own central bank digital currency) the U.S. government has tried shutting Bitcoin down in the past as well. The financial crisis gave bankers a worse reputation than they already had, but the blame also lies with the institutions that oversee and facilitate effective, timely and trustworthy asset transfers.

Using blockchain for mainstream payments eliminates fees that generate huge revenues for the banking industry. It’s pretty obvious that some are trying hard to obstruct blockchain going mainstream, so the resolution for institutional adoption is on a slow but steady push.

Hash rate

What’s the difference between humans and blockchain? Humans promise to stick to their New Year’s resolutions, doing away with their habit of procrastination — but in all reality, they end up just procrastinating not to procrastinate. Not Bitcoin, mind you. The Bitcoin network has witnessed a hash rate increase by 60% in 2018, which not only indicates enhanced investment in critical infrastructure, but also a greater degree of predictability and security for the network. A growing hash rate is a sign of a healthy network, and this increase can be attributed to the mining behemoths that entered the space while bringing a greater number of devices online to offer network security.

This also helps with blockchain’s resolution to achieve optimum scalability, which its currently still working on diligently.  

Security — No procrastination here, just a challenging resolution

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Nobody likes quitters, so while blockchain shuttered to “fully” accomplish one of its resolutions, it has continued on like the little engine that could with a glorious attitude and a scope for redemption. Despite being labeled as “utmost secure,” several hacks have occurred on major crypto exchanges. Over $927 million was stolen by hackers in early 2018 alone from various platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges — all using public blockchains to some capacity.

Related: Crypto Hacks: Crypto Exchange Hacks & Cryptocurrency Hackers

Though blockchain had some major setbacks with this New Year’s resolution, it never quit. It has constantly been working on new strategies and methods such as regulation, better custody, insurance to fully back assets held and new funding methods like security token offerings and initial exchange offerings.

Blockchain’s 20/20 vision

Blockchain awareness

Over 58% of investors and 55% of consumers feel positive about blockchain’s potential to handle value transfers, monetary or otherwise. For the majority, blockchain is an emerging technology that is truly capable of transforming a multitude of business processes — much like the internet did.

However, according to a Deloitte survey, we still have 18% of the participants for whom blockchain is simply a database to record financial transactions. With organizations increasingly realizing the scope for blockchain implementation, the new year will probably witness a surge in blockchain adoption by businesses small, medium and large.

Greater interoperability

Bitcoin makes more money doing nothing than you did all week at work. Accept it. Yet, a major roadblock to the wider adoption of blockchain technology was the low interoperability of its applications.

Currently, blockchain innovators are working on new, viable ways of establishing secure connections between different ledgers. With these, blockchain aims to significantly improve interoperability between the financial institutions.

Enhanced security and analysis

A major aspect of blockchain’s 2020 vision is to rise above the bad reputation of “not being secure.” For the new year, blockchain aims for better smart contract execution, enhanced data privacy and even advanced analytics with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will improve overall network monitoring and the ability to troubleshoot on-chain events.

Blockchain as a Service 

Blockchains’ New Year’s resolutions aren’t purely selfish. In fact, whatever it works on always has something to do with the betterment of existing industries. At times, it even ushers in the possibility of new industries like Blockchain as a Service. Smart enterprises such as Microsoft and Amazon are already working on BaaS integration. Maybe this is part of their New Year’s resolutions as well.

2020 and the future

All that being said, blockchain technology indeed has a 2020 vision for the coming year. If you really paid attention while reading, then you noticed that blockchain has pretty much been crushing its resolutions year after year. You might be feeling a bit insecure about your own resolutions right now.

But still, to end on an honest note, there’s more work to be done. Above all, blockchain needs time, and we must be patient. Remember, the internet didn’t become what it is in a day.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

J.D. Salbego, the CEO of Legion Ventures, is a global leader in blockchain and digital securities with a history of working with industry-leading startups, crypto funds, institutions and governments to drive blockchain innovation, STOs/ICOs, crypto capital markets, international expansion, digital asset fund strategy and go-to-market frameworks. His work has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider and Yahoo. As a market influencer, speaker, published author and internationally recognized subject matter expert, Salbego is frequently invited to speak at leading conferences like the World Economic Forum, BlockShow and Delta Summit.